Shopping for 4K HDR TVs can be a daunting endeavor due to the myriad of specifications, features, and of course, price tags. Most of the time, consumers go for the top of the line choice with all the bells and whistles such as OLED panels, upgraded audio, or streaming capabilities. But does a fuller price tag actually mean that you are getting the best when there are comparable offerings at almost half the price?
The simplest answer is a big fat no. TV tech has gotten so much better and reliable in the last couple of years, making the differences harder to distinguish in practice. An example would be the $600 TCL 6 Series LCD TV and the QLED-equipped Samsung Q6 which costs more than double at $1300.
Both are 4K TVs with HDR capabilities, but there are some differences which could help point you in the right direction. No doubt, the Samsung is a more advanced model, but it would be interesting to see how a competitor that sells at less than half stacks up.
Design, Features, and All That Jazz
The Samsung Q6 is downright the prettiest product between the two thanks to its sleeker design and substantially thinner frame. But you have to consider that users view the screen and its quality more than anything else, so aesthetics only matter for consumers who use TVs as a room’s centerpiece.
Both the TCL 6-Series and the Samsung Q6 have reasonable built-in speakers for everyday use, but the thump and clarity we desire simply isn’t there. It’s worth noting that if you go for the cheaper model, the money saved can be put towards a decent home theater or sound bar. This add-on will instantly upgrade your viewing experience whether if it’s for watching the news or Netflix and chill.
As for the techie side of things, both the Samsung Q6 and the TCL 6-Series have smart TV functions gives them more abilities. The TCL is powered by Roku who is a big name in streaming box technology. Going this route gives you access to thousands of streaming apps and a user-friendly remote that has a simplified and easy to use design.
Paying more for the Samsung definitely has its perks since you get more stuff to play with. The TV can be synced with a Samsung phone plus it works with Samsung’s Smart Things app that connects multiple products to create a convenient home ecosystem.
The remote on the Q6 is one of the best we’ve seen when it comes to intuitiveness and ease of use. The gadget allows you to talk to Bixby and is capable of connecting to various devices which eliminates the need for various other controllers.
Image Quality – The Most Important Aspect of a TV
Choosing a TV at your local Best Buy or Costco is convenient and an enjoyable experience, but it can be difficult to distinguish the differences. Display units are usually set to max brightness with vivid or vibrant modes activated which possibly skews shades and accuracy.
Both TVs have a 4K UHD screen which looks extra sharp and detailed than a 1080p variant with HDR compatibility. However, the main difference between the two is that the Samsung only supports HDR10 while the TCL 6-Series offers Dolby Vision alongside HDR10.
However, the biggest difference which spells how much each of the two costs is in the panel color technologies. Samsung uses Quantum Dot for extra vibrancy without sacrificing detail while TCL utilizes NBP Photons. The latter doesn’t incur a hefty premium, but it has a noticeable disadvantage in gamut coverage.
When the TVs are subjected to a colorimeter, the advantage of the $1300 will become instantly apparent. The Q6 shows 96% of DCI-P3 in HDR mode, while the TC 6-Series can only reach 93%. The extra color allowed the Samsung to show more greens and yellows, giving it the advantage in pictures set in outdoor environments.
The Samsung Q6 also felt faster and smoother with lesser smudging thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate. This will help the Q6 persuade gamers to spend the extra cash over the TCL. However, the latter has a distinct advantage that any HDR enthusiast will go for.
The TCL series showed more contrast and deeper blacks which are crucial for enthusiasts who want a crisper image. The cheaper model gains the upper hand in this regard since it utilizes local dimming, which is a tech crucial for fantastic HDR rendering.
Thoughts on Budget-Friendly Versus Premium TVs
LCD panel technology has come a long way when it comes to imaging quality. The gap between high-end TVs like the Samsung Q6 and the inexpensive TCL 6-Series has shortened, bringing quality viewing experiences to the masses. Price is now heavily dictated by extra features and technological upgrades that offer a unique or intuitive user experience.
But the bottom line is that cheaper 4K HDR TVs like the TCL 6-Series offer the best bang for every buck spent. The Samsung Q6 offers the best user experience with a wider arsenal of tech goodies, but it’s double the price.
Both are excellent options, but it will boil down to how much you are willing to spend. Either way, you are getting an upgrade for your viewing and couch “potatoing” plans for the weekend.